Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Strangers I Let Into My Living Room Each Week

Everyone talks about the best in movies or music, but to me the one that usually holds the biggest weight is the best of TV. Face it, week after week we let these broadcasts into our homes, we're usually wearing some form of loungewear as we eat excessive amounts of fatty goodness on our couches.

2009 was a VERY good year for the supernatural, particularly vampires. That's why both True Blood and Vampire Diaries make it onto my list this year. Dirty, vulgar, sex-filled, is it any wonder True Blood became a break-out hit this year? Taking full advantage of being on HBO there was nothing this show didn't just toss on the screen and have you want more. Vampire Diaries can't get away with nearly as much being on the CW, but they still managed to show some pretty broadcast TV-level gory death scenes. Plus if you can't have Ana Paquin's boobs (which are contractually obligated to show up in every ep of True Blood), Nina Dobev is a great substitute with her blend of Alyssa Milano and Eliza Dushku. Throw some fangs in the mix, can't beat that.

Speaking of the former Faith the Vampire Slayer actress, ratings be damned I like Dollhouse. True I'm a Whedon fan to the bone, but this show really found its way during this season. Sadly it wasn't enough to bring in new viewers or save itself from cancellation. I still look forward to the Season 1 & 2 gift pack so I can put it on the shelf next to Buffy and Angel.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention RuPaul's Drag Race. Having seen the whole season via On Demand, this show was just what you'd imagine. Dressing up masculine women, becoming a girl group, using fruit in your get-up, this "reality" competition never took itself seriously at all and yet there was a certain sincerity to the whole event. Top that off with every episodes sudden death ending where Ru tells the contestants to "lip-synch for [their] life." Just as contrived as any other reality show, except everyone on here is in on the joke.

Sure it's not a new show, but if anyone can find a funnier show on network TV than 30 Rock I'm willing to bet you're not watching this show. Tina Fey is not only hilariously funny in her almost throw away delivery of her lines, but she's surrounded herself with a cast that is so consistently funny you can't help but wonder if they're not just being themselves. Having never really understood the allure of Tracy Morgan I can now say I too strive to achieve my own EGOT.

What would any year be of late without some sort of remake of a former TV show or movie? 2009 was no exception as we were allowed to revisit that perpetually active condo complex, Melrose Place. As a HUGE fan of the original my expectations were kinda high and truth be told the new version has been a fun ride that only looks to get even more fun. Some characters are already being written out, good-bye Ashlee Simpson, while others are being given more and more scenery to chew, Katie Cassidy you're fantastic. Oh sure, nothing can match the insanity that was Melrose 1.0 but I'm looking forward to seeing what Amanda can get these kids to do now that she's moved back into her old hunting ground.

To leave Glee off my list would be like going to an orphanage and telling the kids that not only did their parents not love them, but Santa and the Easter Bunny are fake. Regardless of how bad a day I've had, I can come home, pop on Glee and feel infinitely better. Jane Lynch's character of Sue is one of the best villain characters on TV today and she does it without going too far into one-dimensional territory. Lea Michelle, your voice is just all sorts of enjoyable, granted I love Idina Menzel so that was a given I suppose. Matthew Morrison, your vests and nerdy coolness are just the best thing ever, it's how I think I'd be if I was to go into teaching. Minus the slightly poofy white man afro. Fox, damn you for holding off the return of this little gem until April, guess I'll just keep watching the fall finale over and over while listenting to Vol 1 & 2 of the soundtracks. Don't judge me.

Thanks 2009 for bringing me such fun entertaining hourly and half hourly moments into my home. Now if 2010 can figure out how to get Comcast to actually let me watch things ON Demand, we'd be all set.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009..Oh The Things I've Seen

With 2009 almost over, I begin my blogging about a topic I should have started at least 3 days Top media stuff from 2009. Seeing as how almost everyone starts with movies and I'm really tired from helping my sister paint her new place I'll just go that route as well.

Meryl Streep can do no wrong and this movie just goes to prove that. She is the absolute picture of Julia Child, who in and of herself was just plain great to watch in her prime. Amy Adams was just plain adorable but let's face it we all know the true star of this movie. FOOD. If you are a food lover, as I think you can gauge I am, this is the greatest porn ever! This movie on an empty stomach is just the epitome of torture. Oh and I'd be the worst person ever if I didn't mention the fantastic and finally appreciate Jane Lynch showing up as Julia's sister. If anyone can steal a scene from luscious meals it's her.

How do you jumpstart a franchise that not only keeps old fans happy but can bring on new ones? The simple answer to that is to hire JJ Abrams. Now and forever I am a Trekkie, not to the extent of being able to tell you character birthdays, but I've been into all incarnations with the exception of Enterprise which not even Scott Bakula was into. With that said, this movie kept all the great parts of the Trek mythos and then decided to set out on its own path. Can't wait to see where this cast boldly goes from here.

Just looking at the above movie poster is making my eyes water all over again as if I was watching the movie in the theatre. I'm not easily frightened but to say this movie scared the crap out of me is like saying the sun is probably a little warm. It's been about 3-4 months since I saw it and I still can't think about it too much or I won't be able to get to sleep. The entire movie creeped me out, but the last 3 minutes are the things of my personal nightmares. Let's just say that with the imminent release of this movie on DVD I've made it clear this thing is to come nowhere near my home. Stupid scrapbooking demon....

My all time favorite movie of the year has to be (500) Days of Summer. Consisting of essentially 2 people falling in love, this movie has it all. A musical number, great dialogue, fantastic acting from Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon Levitt (both under appreciated), and throw away reference to the 80's sitcom Small Wonder. I have recommended this movie to just about everyone I know and I will continue to do so until everyone I know watches it. Be warned, it's not for everyone but if you don't like it analyze why you don't and you'll see that the movie just makes all the more sense for it.

There you have it, not quite a Top 5 and nowhere near a Top 10. Still, these are the movies that stick out in my head as having a staying power with me from 2009. Not to say that I'll remember I saw them in 2009 (without the help of my blog that is), but these are movies I'll appreciate for quite some time. Wonder if 2010 will bring us anything near as varied and fun.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Has It Really Been a Decade Already?

Sitting here before my laptop I can't help to wonder if I'm really seeing the end of the first decade of the millenium. Was this how people felt when 1910 was ready to roll around? Minus the laptop blogging of course.

And what a year it was! In the coming days I'll be blogging about all that best, at least my version of it, that 2009 brought us. If nothing else I'd have to say 2009 was the new year of the supernatural. Vampires were everywhere, unfortunately that includes more of that emo-nnoying Twilight series, and spirits haunted us in theatres and TV.

Maybe that's why we said goodbye to what seemed like so many famous faces this year. Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Brittany Murphy, Roy Disney, Ted Kennedy and Bea Arthur made their final appearances, just to name a few. However, I'd also say that 2009 was also the year of the welcome comeback. Thanks for coming back to us in top form Britney & Robbie, you've no idea how happy I am to see you both back in top form.

Even with all the ups and downs of the year, I think in the end any year where we can look back and have memories is a good year. Here's hoping you come back to join me for the recall of it all.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bye Bye Brittany

Wow, who would have thought that a year ago when I was living in constant fear of waking up to the news of a Brtiney passing away it would be Murphy and not Spears.

To say I'm saddened by this news is putting it mildly. Anyone who knows me knows that I really liked this perky little actress. From her adorable face to the way she could just throw herself into any comedic scene with the abandon remniscent of Lucille Ball, this was a girl who just always caught and kept my attention on screen. It's not every cute girl who can make you believe that she is just that big a clown.

Having enjoyed her from her days on "Almost Home" to "Sister, Sister" and even "Boy Meets World" I was really happy to see her gain wide-spread attention. Even if it did come in a rather lengthy spurt after her turn as the lovable Tai in "Clueless." Just watch her in things like "Little Black Book" and "Uptown Girls," not the greatest movies at all but she brought such an energy and warmth to the characters that you just kinda smiled and went along for the ride. Not an easy feat considering either one could very easily fall into unlikeable territory based on their actions.

Then there's her singing voice. One of my all-time favorite songs is Queen's "Somebody to Love" to the point that I have several versions of said song. Among them is Brittany's cover from "Happy Feet," and it still remains one of my Top 3 favorite versions of the song. And just try to put on "Faster Kill Faster Pussycat" without moving your body to some degree of rythym. It's damn near impossible.

Was Brittany Murphy ever going to win any awards? Most likely not, but she was definitely in my underappreciated actor list where I put actors who always make me smile because they always bring their A game even if they never reach mainstream uber-fame. Sadly, we'll never get to see if she would make it off that list. Rest in peace Brittany, to paraphrase Clueless, I hope you're rollin' with the homies in heaven.